The Pequod Review:
The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov is a comprehensive collection of virtually all of Nabokov’s known short stories, 65 in total. Of these, 54 were originally published in Russian, 10 in English, and 1 in French. The overall collection is of widely varying quality, and several in fact are quite poor, but the best ten or fifteen of them are essential. Some of these are Russian stories drawn from early in his career (“Spring in Fialta,” “Music,” “The Aurelian,” “Sounds,” and “Guide to Berlin” are the best), but as with his novels the strongest ones are his late-career English stories. “The Vane Sisters,” “Lance,” and “Scenes From the Life of a Double Monster” are all excellent. And “Signs and Symbols” is one of the finest works of fiction Nabokov ever wrote, the haunting story of an elderly Russian-American couple whose lives have been a series of tragedies, and who now find their son on suicide watch in a sanatorium.